(a) Authority to Seek Injunction. Upon receiving information that an attorney is engaging in professional misconduct or has an incapacity and poses an immediate threat of causing (1) death or substantial bodily harm to another, (2) substantial injury to the financial interest or property of another, or (3) substantial harm to the administration of justice, Bar Counsel, with the approval of the Chair of the Commission, may apply in accordance with the provisions of Title 15, Chapter 500 for appropriate injunctive relief against the attorney. The relief sought may include restricting the attorney's practice of law, limiting or prohibiting withdrawals from any account in any financial institution, and limiting or prohibiting transfers of funds or property.

Committee note: Except as otherwise provided in this Rule, Rules 15-501 through 15-505, the rules relating to temporary restraining orders and injunctions, apply. The appealability of injunctions under this Rule is governed by Code, Courts Article, § 12-303.

Cross reference: See Rule 19-734 for the right of Bar Counsel to request the appointment of a conservator when an attorney no longer can practice.

(b) Parties. The action for injunction shall be brought in the name of the Commission against the attorney whose conduct is alleged to be causing or threatening the harm and against any other person alleged to be assisting or acting in concert with the attorney.

(c) Effect of Investigation or Disciplinary or Remedial Proceeding. A court may not delay or deny an injunction solely because misconduct is or may become the subject of an investigation under Rule 19-711 or the basis for a Statement of Charges under Rule 19-718.

(d) Order Granting Injunction. In addition to meeting the requirements of Rule 15-502 (e), an order granting a preliminary or permanent injunction under this section shall include specific findings by a preponderance of the evidence that the attorney has engaged in the alleged professional misconduct or has the incapacity alleged and poses the threat alleged in the complaint. A bond shall not be required except in exceptional circumstances.

(e) Service on Financial Institution. An order granting an injunction under this section that limits or prohibits withdrawals from any account or that limits or prohibits a transfer of funds or property is effective against any financial institution upon which it is served from the time of service.

(f) Expedited Disciplinary or Remedial Action.

(1) Filing of Petition. When an injunction is issued pursuant to this Rule, notwithstanding any pending appeal or motion to modify or dissolve the injunction, Bar Counsel shall immediately file a Petition for Disciplinary or Remedial Action pursuant to Rule 19-721. A certified copy of the order granting the injunction shall be attached to the petition.

(2) Action on Petition. The action shall proceed in accordance with Rules 19-721 through 19-729 and Rules 19-741 through 19-744, to the extent applicable. The Court of Appeals may assign the petition for hearing to the judge who granted the injunction.

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By The Lawyer's Lawyers | Kramer & Connolly and Irwin R. Kramer who are responsible for the content of this informational website.   This website is designed for lawyers faced with attorney grievances. As cases do differ, past performance does not guarantee future results.